Allagash Lake 2014 206

A rare calm moment on Allagash Lake

Allagash Lake is perhaps the most beautiful portion of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. And it is a popular destination for early season fishing.

But fisherman who want to troll this head-water lake for ice-out trout will need to leave their trolling motors at home. Waterway regulations prohibit all motors here.

Allagash Lake

The answer on a recent trip was to bring along the rowing rig and the Shaw &Tenney oars for the Old Town canoe. I have written here before about how oars act as Four Wheel Drive for Your Canoe. 

Four Wheel Drive

Four Wheel Drive

Allagash is a huge lake,  and windy conditions would have grounded most of the fishing forays last week. But the added stability of the rowing rig saved the day.

With the oars it was easy to maintain course and pay attention to the fishing lines trailing behind the boat. The fishing was — as advertised — phenomenal.

Allagash Brookie

Allagash Brookie

It’s easy to outfit your own canoe for rowing. Here are some sources for rowing components:

PRODUCT SOURCES FOR CANOE ROWING                                      CONVERSIONS

 Shaw & Tenney —‎

Makers of handcrafted wooden oars and paddles, as well as marine hardware, pack baskets, canoe parts and accessories. Best wooden oars in the business and the only company I know that markets a wooden canoe rowing seat. Also this website offers a diagram depicting the correct dimensions for setting up a rowing rig, proper oar length, etc. The company owner, Steve Holt, rows his own wooden canoes and is a wealth of information and advice.

20 Water St  Orono, ME 04473
(207) 866-4867


Essex Industries —‎

Essex Industries is one of the largest manufacturers of quality ash and cane canoeseats and accessories. Manufacturer of the Adjustable Rowing Rig, pictured above, which allows canoeists to use an adjustable, removable outrigger device to extend their beam to make rowing more comfortable and practical.

Mineville, NY 12956      518-942-6671


Old Town Canoes and Kayaks —‎

Great source for inexpensive canoe rowing conversions. Bolt-on oar sockets and oarlocks, snap-in center canoe seats, aluminum oars by Carlisle are all available. Some of these items are also carried by L.L.Bean.


NRS – Rafting Supplies and Boating Equipment —‎

Rafting gear, boating equipment and river supplies — much of which can be converted to use by canoeists. Don’t be put off by the focus on rafting and kayaking. This company is a great source for mid-priced oars, and a wide range of rowing accessories — pins, clips, sockets, oar sleeves, oar stoppers etc.


Hamilton Marine —‎

Hamilton Marine; traditional marine hardware and supplies. This mostly saltwater business has an excellent selection of rowing hardware and workaday wooden, fiberglass and aluminum oars.


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About jimandrews

Jim Andrews is an attorney, Registered Maine Guide, writer, husband, dad and sixth-generation Mainer who grew up in the hills of Oxford County and now lives in Farmington. He is a monthly columnist for the The Maine Sportsman magazine where he focuses on muscle-powered travel in the outdoors and specific applications to fishing and hunting in Maine. Late in the fall of 2010 Jim suffered a mid-life crisis and decided that the cure would be a self-propelled trip from Kittery to Fort Kent in the summer of 2012. The preparation, planning and execution of that trip will be covered here -- as well as his own ongoing attempts to reintroduce physical effort back into the increasingly-motorized world of fishing and hunting in Maine. Find Self-propelled on Facebook: